Role of Mutant CFTR in Hypersusceptibility of Cystic Fibrosis Patients to Lung Infections

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Science  05 Jan 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5245, pp. 64-67
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5245.64


Cystic fibrosis (CF) patients are hypersusceptible to chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections. Cultured human airway epithelial cells expressing the ΔF508 allele of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) were defective in uptake of P. aeruginosa compared with cells expressing the wild-type allele. Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-core oligosaccharide was identified as the bacterial ligand for epithelial cell ingestion; exogenous oligosaccharide inhibited bacterial ingestion in a neonatal mouse model, resulting in increased amounts of bacteria in the lungs. CFTR may contribute to a host-defense mechanism that is important for clearance of P. aeruginosa from the respiratory tract.

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